You may have noticed, whether through anecdotes from friends or your own experience, that divorce is not always the heavy topic it once was. This is partly because modern society has become much more accepting of a marriage ending. Not every family is torn apart when a couple splits up, although the demise of a marriage and all that it brings can still be a source of great pain and disagreement.
One reason divorce is easier is clear. As family law changes, there is more leeway when it comes to a whole range of issues:
- Legal avenues to divorce
- Living situations (married, separated and unmarried)
- Custody agreements
- How people define their marital status
- A more streamlined process
- Certain legal obligations
Research even suggests that, in some ways, couples have benefited from the increased access to divorce. If you’re facing an end to your marriage, here are some ways that it might not be as hard as you imagined.
Changing Laws Have Made Divorce Easier to Obtain – Without Lowering Marriage Rates
It’s not just social norms that are changing. The rules themselves are making it easier for couples to navigate the tricky waters when facing a possible split. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “laws that make it easier to divorce can improve the welfare of household members, even for couples that stay together.”
One beneficial change was seen in its impact on the lifestyles of women. More were able to prioritize their lives and careers after their marriages ended, while also investing in their children’s education with the help of child support. Meanwhile, there is more recognition that men can be stay-at-home dads as well as recipients of spousal maintenance when their wives acted as primary breadwinners in the marriage.
Other reports found similar trends:
- Easing the process by allowing “unilateral divorce” reduces the rate of domestic violence. (Quarterly Journal of Economics)
- More bargaining power for women has in fact increased the number of couples tying the knot. (Cambridge University Press)
- School enrollment of children as well as “household bargaining” increase when the divorce process is sped up. (ScienceDirect)
These changes certainly don’t affect everyone, let alone equally. Divorce can still be a last resort that is worth avoiding. But by letting go of older societal norms, couples are discovering more flexibility in how they navigate their post-divorce lives, as well as care for their children, even when they are no longer living together.
“Fault” Is No Longer a Factor in Divorce Cases in Illinois
Spouses hoping to position their ex in a negative light hoping to gain favor with a judge are finding that harder to pull off – particularly in “no fault” states such as Illinois.
Requiring parties to show “fault” in a divorce used to be a way of dissuading married couples from calling it quits. The removal of this process was yet another way that divorce became both acceptable and logistically feasible for more couples. While the situation is more complicated than that, the result is a little less finger pointing in divorce proceedings.
Arbitration, Mediation & Other Alternatives More Common
There has been a shift away from high-conflict litigation in court in recent years. The model most divorcing couples seek tends toward less adversarial processes such as mediation – a trend that is expected to continue. If you are hoping to avoid courtroom battles, a qualified family law attorney will be able to walk you through the process and minimize the stress that proceedings can cause in divorcing couples.
Therapy for Individuals, Couples and Families Is Increasingly Common
As therapy is embraced by children and adults alike, it is also being used more frequently as a helpful tool in family law cases. For example, mandatory or court-ordered therapy can require family members struggling with mental health to attend sessions. It can even be part of a parenting plan if a judge finds it will be in the best interests of a child.
Evolving Strategies from Lawyers Like David King Help Clients Get Better Outcomes
As laws evolve, so do some of the legal strategies employed by family lawyers. At the Law Office of David A. King, P.C., we take every step we can find to ease the divorce process for families in support of our clients. We will be with you every step of the way, helping you through complex processes such as asset disclosure and asserting your parental rights.
Would you like to know more about the options available to you? Contact the Law Office of David A. King, P.C. to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can ease your divorce moving forward.